Monday, March 26, 2007

Rape, consent and drunken consent

On my way home from work I heard a report that a case concerning rape and consent, more particularly consent given when drunk had been heard in the Court of Appeal, and clarified some points in this area.

I can't yet find an online report though I will look. The law now says (Thanks to the Sexual Offences Act 2003) that someone must be able to give consent in order for it to be consent. The Appeal Court clarified that drunk people are capable of giving consent. They do have to be capable of understanding what it is they are doing though, clearly unconscious people can't consent.

I am not sure this clarifies things much. The problem is that people like to drink, and sometimes when they drink they lose the inhibitions and in the case of women their sex drive can rise (due to alcohol causing a rise in testosterone.) In the case of men, certainly with some it does not need to rise.

In short some drunk people like to have intercourse. Also people who are drunk may do things they regret. Drunk people also get taken advantage of and are sometimes forced to do things which they do not want to do.

We have a problem, which is the rise and rise of reported rape cases and an ever decreasing rate of cases getting to court and an abysmal conviction rate.

Government's response seems to me to concentrate on the law and the administration thereof, so far to little effect. What is worse you can't actually deal with the evidential problems of date rape with out assuming someone is lying before they have had their day in court. Shifting the presumption of innocence. This is a major problem, pottentially causing great damage to our justice system.

What is missing though is some form of education program or public campaign to actually get the rates of rape down. After all it would be far better for the victim if they were never a victim. I certainly have not seen one.

2 comments:

The Real Sporer said...

Dont you think that the massive sexualization of western culture has produced a generation of young people, who continue to drink and party, to do so in an environment that seems to promote the expectancy of unbridled sexual conduct.

Do you guys get Cinemax and HBO over there? That stuff's tame, tame in comparison with the internet. My God, I had sneak a look at topless girls in Playboy, can you imagine what drunk horny 16-20 year olds can access to turbocharge their already overheated sex drive?

Benedict White said...

The Real Sporer, Well the massive sexualisation of our youth is a part of the issue.

I understand that teenagers under the age of consent engage in activities that they film on their mobile phones.

Clearly that attitude is part of the problem.